While Monday’s GRISD Board of Trustees meeting covered a wide range of topics, more often than not it dealt with student success.
During the invocation, Mary Mercer asked everyone in attendance to pray for the community of West. As student recognitions got underway, two-time state powerlifting champion Jared Thames was honored by coach Terry Harlin.
Jill Lawson presented FCCLA state qualifiers Kelsy Massey (Early Childhood), Madeline Campos (Fashion Design), Sara Wisdom (Fashion Design), Robert Jameson (Chapter Showcase Display) and Victoria Moore (Chapter Showcase Display). Lawson then recognized three students who were allowed to compete at state for Leadership Enhancement Opportunity and received gold medals – Daniel Pena (Step One), Esmeralda Rodriguez (Culinary Arts) and Maleny Herrera (Child Development). Finally, Lawson introduced Region II President for the 2013-14 school year Estevan Rivera.
Blake O’Quinn introduced his four state qualifying FFA teams, including Environment and Natural Resources (Jessica Shimskie, Koda Duren, Ty Campbell, Tressa D’Angelo), Nursery Landscape (Dakota Stroud, Jena Brannon, Shimskie), Land Evaluation (Robert Jameson, Daniel Pena, Ben McPherson) and Wildlife Management (Logan Douglas, Keith McAnally, Hance Burney, Thomas Beauregard).
Art teacher Randy Haney then recognized his Visual Arts Scholastic Event state qualifier Abigail Fonseca.
Child nutrition coordinator Dawn Foos gave her report, which included a copy of the Texas Nutrition Policy for all board members. She talked about the importance of getting away from foods with poor nutritional value, using the example that students should only be allowed three ounces of French fries per week.
Foos talked about penalties schools can receive for not complying with the policy and addressed new meal requirements as divided by age group. For example, elementary students are allowed to have a lunch with 550-600 calories, while high school students are allowed a meal of 750-850 calories.
“I’ve worked hard to create meals in this range and it wasn’t easy,” Foos said.
GRISD had its meals reviewed in February and it passed, which meant the district got to keep a reimbursement of six cents for each lunch.
Elementary principal Debbie Morris gave her report, as she first mentioned an enrollment of 437 students.
“We’ve had a lot of illnesses – more than in the last several years – which has hurt attendance, but enrollment has been stable,” Morris said.
She talked about the Land Before Time, which dealt with 500-700 people coming to enjoy and participate in an educational family event that centered around the curriculum of dinosaurs, earth sciences and ice age, geological timelines and eras.
She talked about the school’s Giving Back campaign, which deals with eight activities such as Christmas Express (120 children were served meals) and Cans for Kids (1,700 cans were collected for the food bank).
Morris talked about 36 competitors taking part in a Math Pentathlon earlier this month, mentioning that Glen Rose was praised for bringing the most teacher game leaders of any school and for the students’ sportsmanship. Among several other items, Morris mentioned the school’s carnival on May 2 (5-7:30 p.m.) with games, food and a silent auction along with track and field day on May 10 with a hamburger cookout at noon.
In his superintendent’s report, Wayne Rotan mentioned the district’s current enrollment is 1,673, which is up 21 students from the corresponding date a year ago. Rotan discussed a bevy of district activities, some of which included the Tiger Pride Band winning a Sweepstakes Award at the UIL Concert and Sightreading Contest, STAAR testing being held this week in grades 3-8, a Senior Spaghetti Supper and Auction for Project Graduation on April 29 and a Math Pentathlon being held in the Red Gym this Saturday for fourth and fifth graders.
In his legislative update, Rotan emphasized a couple of House Bills in particular. Regarding HB2824, he said the High Performing Schools Consortium bill passed out of the House Education Committee and now moves on to a full House hearing. He also touched on HB 5, which is the Graduation and Accountability Bill. Both the House (no English I, English II divided into 2 tests – Reading and Writing, Algebra I, Biology and U.S. History) and Senate (English I, English II, Algebra I, Biology, U.S. History) versions reduce the number of EOC tests from 15 to five.
All consent agenda items, which included student out-of-state travel for National FCCLA competition and a waiver request to the TEA for low attendance days, were approved unanimously.
A plan to replace the skylights on the elementary campus was approved unanimously.
“The skylights are 28 years old and past the point of repair,” said Tommy Gibson, director of administration and support services. “We accepted proposals up to April 16 and had one company make a proposal – American Mainline Products. The total cost will be $157,880. If approved, the project will begin in early July and take roughly three weeks.”
In closed session, a one-year contract renewal for aforementioned child nutrition coordinator Dawn Foos was approved. Also approved were Tammy Reeves as a diagnostician and the contract renewal for teachers as presented in closed session.